Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre told a Liberal MP that “woke” refers to those who want to control people by dividing them.
Liberal MP Jenica Atwin asked the leader of the opposition Poilievre to define the word in the House of Commons on Thursday.
Poilievre semi-punted on the question, as he gave his understanding of the purpose of wokeness instead of its meaning.
“And as for the definition of ‘woke’, woke has one purpose,” he said.
“Only one purpose. Plenty of pretext, but only one purpose: Control.”
“It is designed to divide people by race, by gender, by ethnicity, by religion, by vaccine status, and any other way that they can divide people into groups because why? Then you can justify having a government to control all these groups,” he said.
“No more woke. We need freedom.”
The word “woke” became popular in the 2010s as a reference to being socially aware of political and social injustices that exist in society.
Websters dictionary defines the word as “aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).”
However, critics quickly realized the word is underpinned by a set of beliefs that are heavily embedded in identity politics. For example, ‘woke’ social justice warriors believe that skin colour not only defines people a priori, but also that individuals have varied capacities for knowledge based on such immutable factors.
In recent years, Canadian schools have created segregated spaces for students based on ethnicity. There are reports of students telling white classmates to leave areas because of their skin colour.